A job that had to be done

by admin on July 19, 2016

Colin and Alice Anson were two strangers, living in the shadow of the Third Reich, whose extraordinary lives became intertwined in 1940s London when they made a pact to become British.

Colin, brought up as Claus Leopold Octavio Ascher, had fled his native Germany just days before he turned 17, the age at which he would have been conscripted. He went on to serve in the British forces, training as a Commando at Achnacarry in the wild Scottish highlands and operating on special duties in X Troop, an elite German-speaking Commando unit.

Viennese schoolgirl Alice Gross, just 14 when she left Austria after Hitler’s Anschluss annexed her homeland into Germany, became a WAAF photographer, helping to pinpoint the site of the V1 flying bomb launch site.  They met, by sheer chance, in a London cafe and shared both a strong moral compass and the desire to wholeheartedly embrace the country that had taken them in when mainland Europe was descending into an abyss.

They spent the following 67 years together and died only 11 days apart.

Colin said he had never expected to survive the war as a commando but there was a job that had to be done.

Click onto Latest Obits to read their life stories.

Alice and Colin Anson engagement small image